The Nautilus: Flood Survivor

Nautilus from the side. Palau Micronesia.

Nautilus from the side. Palau Micronesia.

Years ago my family went to visit the Shedd Aquarium in Chicago (one of my favorite places to see God’s creation). We’d been before, but this time it was quiet and we weren’t in a hurry. Back in a dark corner were some creatures I’d never expected to see, Nautiluses.

I knew what they were right away. I’d seen them in books before, but only in the “prehistoric” section. Now, I’d never believed in evolution, but it’s clear many creatures hadn’t made it through the Flood of Noah’s Day alive. Here was one I’d thought was a goner swimming happily right in front of me. Another Living Fossil.

From the fossil record we know the Nautilus sometimes got buried deep down, Uniformitarians say back to 500 million years ago. That’s pretty deep for a fossil of something bigger than a microbe. We also know they came in more varieties than are still alive today. Some say there were as many as 10,000 species once. Today there are 6.

Parapuzosia seppenradensis, biggest known ammo...

Parapuzosia seppenradensis, biggest known ammonite, diameter 1.8o m. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

When we have fossils to compare to, it’s fun to check how big a living creature used to get. It wasn’t easy to find info on the nautilus, but a similar looking creature, the Ammonite, has been found as large as 5′ 11″ across.

I did find one page from a collector saying he’s seen a fossil Nautilus “a little over three feet in diameter” or right at a meter across. Unfortunately, he didn’t get a picture at the school it was donated to and now they’ve lost it. He has personally found a fossil Nautilus 27 inches [68 cm] across, but the largest picture his page shows is only 14 inches [35.6 cm] across. Still cool stuff.

OK, so now for what we know about the living ones:

Every day, a Nautilus travels over 1,000 ft straight up and down. During the day, they hide down deep (up to 1,800 ft [550 m]) where there aren’t as many hungry mouths wanting to eat them for lunch. Then they rise up after dark to look for leftovers and small animals to eat in the reefs at about 300 ft [90 m] depth.

A sectioned nautilus shell. These shells may h...

An adult Nautilus today can still grow a shell up to 10 inches [30 cm] across. Their shell isn’t made of the lightest stuff, so how do they manage such a climb every day? Air chambers. See how the half shell in the picture has all those walls across the smaller sections? A Nautilus can pump each one full of a special gas mixture to go up and switch it out for a heavy liquid when it’s time to head back down.

Then the Nautilus squirts water out its front sending it shooting backwards at speeds over 2 knots [2.3 mph, 3.7 kph]. What’s more, the whole system is so efficient, a Nautilus only has to be sure to eat once a month to keep its energy levels up!

Sounds like Someone smart planned things out pretty well. 😀

Chambered Nautilus, at Pairi Daiza, Brugelette...

A Nautilus doesn’t have a typical eye to watch for prey and predators. They don’t have lenses like our eyes do, so some people say they are “primitive” and we’re pretty sure they only have limited vision. At the same time, here’s what Marine Science Today says about them, “Researchers are very interested in… the highly developed pinhole eye” they have. Those eyes may help us design better cameras if we learn how they really are designed.

Oh, yes, a Nautilus egg is bigger than any laid by other cephalopods (octopus, squid, cuttlefish family). They take about a year to hatch, are 3 cm (1.2 in) long, and already have 4 chambers finished when they first come out.

The fishes of the sea shall declare unto thee. Who knoweth not in all these that the hand of the LORD hath wrought this? Job 12:8,9

You can read more about them on these pages (all with “millions of years” included):

Aquarium of the Pacific: Chambered Nautilus

Sea and Sky: Chambered Nautilus

Despairing, Drowning Dinos

Today we’re going to examine a study of Alberta’s dinosaurs. Go ahead and click on this link (it opens in a new tab) to follow along:

Alberta scientists discover largest bed of dinosaur bones

Centrosaurus lived in the Late Cretaceous Peri...

Centrosaurus skull

I first ran into this report on another site with too many ads to pass on. I wish you could see the amazing drawing they had at the top, though. It showed 3 centrosauruses struggling to keep their open mouths above water with no bottom in sight. If you’re an artist, I’d love to post a similar picture, but I’ve never drawn a dino in my life. If I try now, you’d all think they were cows. 😀

OK, here we go:

  • The bone bed is near Hilda, AB. Where is that? Scroll out on this MAP to find out. South of ________ North of ___________ on the border of ________
  • Although the article is accurate on the 2.3 square km [.88 square miles], the Canadian Encyclopedia says the bones of 1,000s of individuals are packed into even smaller areas inside this space. What does this tell you about the bones?________________________
  • They say the bones prove the dinosaurs lived in herds. Do they really know this?

A factual statement would be, “the Hilda site provides the first solid evidence that some horned dinosaurs were buried in large groups.” We can make guesses (and this could be a good one), but all we really know is where they ended up before we dug out the bones.

Image of Tropical Storm Hilda at peak strength

Tropical Storm Hilda

Let’s look at what David Eberth tells us. Isn’t it amazing how he recognizes there was a catastrophe here? Geologists have refused to see catastrophes until they have no other choice for two hundred years. These dinosaurs were buried in such a way he had to admit something terrible happened. Trying to explain all features of geology using every day processes is called __________________.

Do we really know they were “routinely wiped out” as he says? Could another scientist say they were buried within hours or days of each other?

Which seems more likely to you:

  1. Dinosaurs who survived a bad storm moved back to the same area only to be swept away again and again and again. ___
  2. All the dinosaurs were wiped out at the same time and buried in slightly different places and sedimentary layers. ___

Did you catch the event they believe wiped out these dinosaurs? What elements do you have to make a tropical storm? Find out HERE

So you have to have _________ heated above ____c (convert to Fahrenheit HERE), which cause a lot of ________  and ________.

I’m going to copy the best paragraph from our article:

Tropical riverRather than picturing the animals as drowning while crossing a river, a classic scenario that has been used to explain bonebed occurrences at many sites in Alberta, the research team interpreted the vast coastal landscape as being submerged during tropical storms or hurricanes.

What does this tell us? Before 2010, scientists tried to say the dinosaurs were drowned while ________________.

Was this explanation rare or popular? _____________

Did it fit the facts? _______

The article tells us the water receded and the bones got “trampled and smashed” by scavengers. Does this mean there had to be many years between storms?

One common false belief about Noah’s Flood is to think it smoothly rose to cover the world in 40 days and then smoothly retreated. The Bible doesn’t say anything close! Have a look at Genesis 7:16-24. How many days after the Flood started was the whole world under water? ____________

Did this leave time for other hungry creatures to come back and trample these bones? ___________

The last paragraph tells us other animals were able to escape drowning in this storm. Do they know this really happened, or are they assuming they escaped because they weren’t buried there?

To the east, lots of ocean creatures (cool pictures) have been found including a number of very big ones. To the west, mammal and bird fossils have been found. Maybe, they were all buried within a little while in different locations.

Which do you think more likely:

  • Long years between burials ___
  • Different creatures were buried at different heights by the same global storm ___

For extra credit: The dates they give for fossils are based on how many known rock layers are above them and Radiometric Dating. Understanding those two things is key to paleontology.

The earth is the LORD’S, and the fulness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein.
 For he has founded it upon the seas, and established it upon the floods. Psalm 24:1,2

More articles:

Answers in Genesis: Triceratops Tally up to Four in New Wyoming Dinosaur Graveyard Sept. 2, 2013

Marsh Blooms Folded Rock Layers-Zion Nation Park, Wikimedia

Review: AiG’s Creation Museum: Part 1

Blog-size-Mag-CoverIt’s been two weeks since my mom, kids and I spent a lovely day at the Creation Museum.  The forced delay has been kind of nice because the things we still remember are the best!

All the main speakers with Answers in Genesis were out of town, so we didn’t get to say “hi.”  I can’t say I blame them; there were only a handful of visitors on the last Wednesday in November.

BTW, having museums, zoos and such almost to ourselves is one of the nicest perks of home schooling.  I’m completely spoiled about this; it is so pleasant getting the best seats at shows and strolling leisurely through the coolest exhibits. Plus, getting practically private waitstaff is addictive!

The first thing we did was visit the planetarium.  The show was very well done with 3D effects and a step by step expansion of size to keep your brain-fuses from getting fried within the first minute.  It was a little disappointing not to have the narrator mention how easily the Bible explains why we can see things “millions of light years away” in a very young universe. My guess is that Dr. Lisle and the rest decided it would take too long and they have other resources to address the issue.  Personally, I think it would have been worth the extra 30 seconds to mention “stretching the heavens” as God so carefully told us.

creationwiki public domain

My favorite bits of the whole building were the hallway displays of fossils and other rocks.  It was awesome to be only inches from rocks that once floated in outer space.  Seeing real fossils in full scale was worth the visit all by itself!

The scale of things was one of the best parts of being there in person.  AiG is very generous in sharing their information and pictures free online, so there was very little that I learned by going to their location.  But, the size of things is difficult to show in a picture.

Some things were way bigger than you might think.  My 5 year old got scared in the dinosaur den (upstairs past the pizza plaza).  Since that experience he has decided all dinosaurs are no fun. I bet there would be a lot more kids glad we don’t run into living dragons too often if they all saw just how big and scary they could get!

English: Archaeopteryx lithographica, specimen...

A photo of one of the real fossils. An adult’s hand reaches from about the elbow to the foot

Other things were smaller than you would expect. You know that new Lucy display they were so excited about? It is very well done, very clear, very convincing.  But, it’s small.  The whole display is in a column about 4 feet [1.3m] deep. Lucy is puny. Archeopteryx is even smaller.  I “knew” he was dinky, but there is nothing like being next to his bones to help you realize a person could have easily picked him up one-handed.

Unlike most of the fossils on display, archeopteryx was a copy.  Unless a Creationist digs one up and donates it to the Museum, they don’t have the money or power to get ahold of a game-changer fossil like the “dinobird.”  God needs His people to get out in the field and find things on their own so they don’t get ignored or used against Him!

I would have had this review up a couple of hours ago, but my photos are missing! My dear husband says there’s a way to get the memory card to cough up deleted pictures, so I hope to get them back for tomorrow’s post.  *Please God, some of them were really good ones!* Anyway, I’ve got a lot more to share, but it will have to wait ’til tomorrow.

Part 2 HERE

Then they that feared the LORD spake often one to another: and the LORD hearkened, and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before him for them that feared the LORD, and that thought upon his name. Malachi 3:16

Marsh Blooms Small Complete Fossil Vertebrate

Just what is a fossil?


Italiano: Saurexallopus, a four toed dinosaur ...

Saurexallopus, a four toed dinosaur or bird trace fossil

Last week on facebook I shared someone’s photo of a museum display that proclaimed “fossil. n.: any evidence of life more than 7,000 years old.”

I had a bit of a lively debate discussing what exactly a fossil would be.  The best they could come up with was that a fossil is something turned to stone by pressure and time with no organic material remaining.

Most educational sites are much more careful to use a definition that is accurate, I rather like the acrostic Stories in Stone uses to explain how something qualifies for the title Fossil:

Petrified Araucaria mirabilis Cone; Age: Juras...

Petrified Araucaria mirabilis Cone; Patagonia, Argentina


Only in





Although even that will show to miss some real fossils.

Museums seem to be more forceful trying to make fossils prove their claim that the earth must be old.  Here’s what the Natural History Museum of San Diego says about them:

Fossils are the remains and/or traces of prehistoric life. The critical factor is age. Fossils have to be older than 10,000 years, the generally accepted temporal boundary marking the end of the last Pleistocene glacial event.

OK, they don’t care about the pressurization (very wise) or organic remains, they just try to make them so old the Bible must be lying.  Wikipedia’s Fossil page was honest enough to admit that claiming fossils MUST be 10,000 years old is “arbitrary” [which means they just decided it should be that without a good reason].

So what is a fossil really?  Here are the types of things scientists call fossils (from Enchanted Learning):

  • mold fossils(like when you press a toy into playdough and pull it back out)

    Fossil Homeosaurus maximiliani Paris, Gallerie...

    Fossil Homeosaurus maximiliani Paris, Galleries of Paleontology and Compared Anatomy

  • cast fossils (when something else fills in that shape)
  • trace fossils = ichnofossils (fossilized nests, gastroliths, burrows, footprints, etc.)
  • true form fossils (fossils of the actual animal or animal part)

This last one, where the animal or plant is still there (more or less) is divided into these sub-types:

  • unaltered preservation (like insects or plant parts trapped in amber, a hardened form of tree sap)
  • permineralization=petrification (in which rock-like minerals seep in slowly and replace the original organic tissues with silica, calcite or pyrite, forming a rock-like fossil – can preserve hard and soft parts – most bone and wood fossils are permineralized)

Did you catch that?  Those dino bones we love to visit are petrified just like the teddy bear in the spring.  And as we know, they stink, so there is still organic material in there that wasn’t replaced by minerals.

Tree bark fossil called Lepidodendron, 005411

Tree bark fossil called Lepidodendron, 005411 (Photo credit: Black Country Museums)

  • carbonization=coalification (in which only the carbon remains in the specimen – otherelements, like hydrogen, oxygen, and nitrogen are removed)

Sometime I will get around to all the amazing things we find in coal.  Notice that coal is made from a living thing (a plant) that has lost other elements leaving only the carbon behind.

  • recrystalization (hard parts either revert to more stable minerals or small crystals turn into larger crystals)

Do we have trouble with fossils just because we believe God made the world only about 6,000 years ago?  Not a bit.  We would if we didn’t believe in a global catastrophe, but the Bible carefully explains that to us as well.

On the 17th day of the second month, when Noah was 600 years old, the springs under the earth broke through the ground, and water flowed out everywhere. The sky also opened like windows and rain poured down. The rain fell on the earth for 40 days and 40 nights. That same day Noah went into the boat with his wife, his sons Shem, Ham, and Japheth, and their wives.

Every living thing on earth died—every man and woman, every bird, and every kind of animal. All the many kinds of animals and all the things that crawl on the ground died. Every living, breathing thing on dry land died. In this way God wiped the earth clean—he destroyed every living thing on the earth—every human, every animal, everything that crawls, and every bird. All that was left was Noah and his family and the animals that were with him in the boat.  Genesis 7:11,21-23